Perhaps the most controversial issue in Rohnert Park this year is the sale and use of state-approved fireworks. The residents of Rohnert Park will have the opportunity to vote on this issue on September 14, when the recall election for the Governor and District Attorney will also occur.
I know that there are residents with strong feelings and opinions on both sides of this issue. Fortunately, we live in a democracy where we have ways of resolving such issues in a fair and civil manner – that’s what our celebration of July 4 is really about. The upcoming election is an opportunity to apply the basic principles of democracy – which I hope we all share.
Unfortunately, we have seen words and actions that don’t match these fundamental principles. I ask that everyone concerned feel free to let your opinions be known, but to do so with respect for those who see things differently. Putting out signs, wearing t-shirts, calling others, or posting on social media to encourage your friends and neighbors to vote can all be positive ways to participate in this election.
While you will be hearing more as the election approaches, I also want to be clear about the language that you will see on the ballot itself. State law requires us to use particular language that some may find confusing. You will have the choice to vote yes or no on the following question:
Shall Ordinance No. 954, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Rohnert Park Repealing and Replacing Chapter 9.49 of the Rohnert Park Municipal Code to Prohibit the Sale and Use of Fireworks, be adopted?
What this means is that a “Yes” vote supports a ban on fireworks sales. A “No” vote supports allowing the sales to continue.
However you feel about the sale of fireworks, I encourage you to vote. The last day to register to vote for this election is August 30. You will have the opportunity to vote by mail, but must have your ballots postmarked no later than September 14. More information on the election, including how to register, is available on the City’s website, www.rpcity.org.